Dublin: Abbey Theatre Summer Studio

Abbey Theatre Villanova Logo

Villanova University & The Abbey Theatre,

the National Theatre of Ireland

Abbey Theatre scenes from the theatre

Location: Dublin, Ireland

From the studio to the stage, students will study the workings and history of Ireland's world-class national theatre while developing their own theatre skills, knowledge, and practice. Students from Villanova will work alongside students from Irish and other universities and be taught by practitioners and professors from the U.S. and Ireland. Student work will culminate in a showing of final work on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage.

The Abbey Theatre, the national theatre of Ireland, has long showcased great Irish drama. Emerging out of theatre societies founded by W.B. Yeats, Edward Martyn, Lady Augusta Gregory, John Millington Synge, the Fay brothers, and others, the Abbey Theatre has fostered playwrights and premiered productions by Sean O’Casey, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Sebastian Barry, and Marina Carr, among many others.

The program is a joint enterprise between the Abbey Theatre and Villanova University, and offers a select group of students from  Ireland and the United States the opportunity to study with Irish Studies scholars and Irish theatre professionals. Students from any college or university may apply and receive credit through the Villanova University Office of Education Abroad, in conjunction with their home university.

Visit the Abbey Theatre website for more information on this exciting opportunity only through Villanova University!


Students attend lectures in the mornings and take a practicum in the afternoon at the Abbey Theatre. Mornings will be led by Villanova and Irish professors, and the afternoons will be led by Abbey practitioners, directors, actors, writers, technical staff, movement and voice coaches. The evenings are reserved for seeing plays, rehearsals, and cultural events.

The practicum offers three strands: graduate (advanced theatre practice), under-graduate (introducing stage craft), and literary development/creative writing. All strands will synchronize to create the final showing.   

The three-credit program is a twentyone-day immersion taking place while the Abbey Theatre changes productions in June. Students will also tour Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland and attend performances at Dublin's many stages to gain an overview of Irish theatre.

For Graduate Students: Upon completion of the Dublin portion of the program, students are required to do archival research at the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive @ NUI Galway

The Courses

For Undergraduate students:
ENG 2490: Irish Studies - Abbey Studio Dublin (3 credits)

For Master's students -  M.A. students are able to take one or two courses outside of their own discipline (students select one course, below):
ENG 8680: 20th Century Irish Theatre (3 credits)
THE 8200: Irish Drama (3 credits)

Additional Academic Requirements

  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale; non-Villanova students must submit a recent official university transcript of their undergraduate work.
  • University student status without disciplinary or academic probation, and/or financial holds on VU account.
Irish Studies at Villanova University
Students studying in Ireland should highly consider a minor in Irish Studies. More information can be found on the Irish Studies website.


Housing will be provided at University College, Dublin, a short ride to Dublin’s city centre. Rooms are in a three-room suite layout with a self-serve kitchen; wifi and campus amenities are also included in the program cost. 

The University College Dublin housing will be Ensuite Rooms in 6 Bedroom Apartment Suites. Bedlinen is provided by the university and changed weekly.  The apartments are also cleaned weekly.  Limited cooking utensils are also provided.  Wifi is available throughout and guests will be able to use the UCD swimming pool and gym. For more information visit Summer at UCD.

Student Life

Students will experience a thorough Dublin orientatoin at the beginning of the program. During the evenings, students will attend theatrical productions in and around Dublin. Opportunities for exploring the city and taking in the local sights and sounds are all part of the experience during the free time on the program. Students have the option to eat out at the local pubs and restaurants or to utilize their kitchen facilities and cook for themselves. At the end of the Dublin portion, students will be able to travel to Galway and visit the western coast of Ireland.


June 3 - 23, 2016

Departure from USA: June 2, 2016

Undergraduates Return to USA: June 23, 2016*
*On June 23, Graduate students will travel to NUI, Galway to conduct research at the Abbey Theatre Archives.


The program cost will be approximately $3,800 (2015 cost). Students are responsible for airfare, as well as lunch and dinner expenses. The cost of the program covers tuition, housing, theatre tickets, inner-city bus and mass transportation tickets, pool and gym at UCD, travel insurance, among other things.

Upon acceptance, student will have 2-weeks to submit a $450 non-refundable commitment fee. Program balance is invoiced directly to the VU student account during the first week of April, with final balance due May 1.

Students interested in financing should first review the OEA Scholarship page. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick scholarship is a great opportunity! Should there be a need to secure additional funding through loans, Villanova University students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

Students with a Federal Pell grant should consider applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship!

ATTENTION: Program discount offered to students interested in attending BOTH the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio 'and' the VU Summer Program in Galway. Doing both programs would allow you to be in Ireland for almost 10-weeks and earn a total of 9-VU credits! Contact the Faculty Program Coordinators for more information.

Irish Studies at VU

Have you thought of minoring in Irish Studies?

Learn more about Irish Studies at Villanova University!

Program Snapshot

  • Program Duration: 3-weeks 
  • Credits: 3
  • Dates: June 3 - 23, 2016
  • Price: $3,900
    Early-admittance deadline: December 1, 2015
    Final Deadline: March 17, 2016

Faculty Coordinator



Dr. David Cregan, O.S.A.
Chair of Theater
Phone 610.519.4760

Dr. Joseph Lennon
Director of Irish Studies
Phone: 610.519.4647

Visit the Abbey Theatre Webpage for more information. 

Other Searches

Please also visit www.IIEPassport.org and www.studyabroad.com to learn more about study abroad options with these online search engines.

Not all independent programs will meet Villanova's program policy.  Please check with your OEA advisor before applying.


Spring applications are due October 15, 2015
Fall and Summer applications are due April 1, 2016.

Some programs may have earlier application deadlines! Apply early.